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Gradient (elevation) vs. disturbance (agriculture) effects on primary Cloud forest in Ecuador: seed predation, seed pathogens, germination

Gradient (elevation) vs. disturbance (agriculture) effects on primary Cloud forest in Ecuador:... Background: Gradients and disturbances affect plant communities. Cloud forests exist on elevational gradients and are often disturbed by being cleared for agriculture, so they present a unique opportunity for the investigation of how gradients and disturbances affect their structure, function and dynamics. The focus of the current study was on seed predation, seed pathogens and seed germination: all key factors in tree recruitment and regeneration. Methods: Three hundred seeds of three species—Solanum stenophyllum Bitter (Solanaceae: bird-dispersed), Palicourea amethystina (Ruiz & Pav.) DC. (Rubiaceae: bird-dispersed) and Clusia flaviflora Engl. (Clusiaceae: mammal-dispersed) —were studied at primary (1°) cloud forest at Guandera Reserve. After 2 weeks in the field, losses due to seed predation or pathogens were counted and the remaining seeds were tested for germination. These results were then compared with similar data collected and published previously from a 1° cloud forest and a secondary (2°) cloud forest, both at Maquipucuna Reserve, Ecuador. Results: In both closed-canopy forest and tree-fall gaps at Guandera Reserve, S. stenophyllum Dunal seeds suffered the greatest losses to predators, P. amethystina seeds had the greatest germination and C. flaviflora seeds had the greatest losses to pathogens. Comparison with data from Maquipucuna Reserve showed the following: (1) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science Springer Journals

Gradient (elevation) vs. disturbance (agriculture) effects on primary Cloud forest in Ecuador: seed predation, seed pathogens, germination

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by The Author(s).
Subject
Life Sciences; Forestry
eISSN
1179-5395
DOI
10.1186/s40490-017-0106-2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Background: Gradients and disturbances affect plant communities. Cloud forests exist on elevational gradients and are often disturbed by being cleared for agriculture, so they present a unique opportunity for the investigation of how gradients and disturbances affect their structure, function and dynamics. The focus of the current study was on seed predation, seed pathogens and seed germination: all key factors in tree recruitment and regeneration. Methods: Three hundred seeds of three species—Solanum stenophyllum Bitter (Solanaceae: bird-dispersed), Palicourea amethystina (Ruiz & Pav.) DC. (Rubiaceae: bird-dispersed) and Clusia flaviflora Engl. (Clusiaceae: mammal-dispersed) —were studied at primary (1°) cloud forest at Guandera Reserve. After 2 weeks in the field, losses due to seed predation or pathogens were counted and the remaining seeds were tested for germination. These results were then compared with similar data collected and published previously from a 1° cloud forest and a secondary (2°) cloud forest, both at Maquipucuna Reserve, Ecuador. Results: In both closed-canopy forest and tree-fall gaps at Guandera Reserve, S. stenophyllum Dunal seeds suffered the greatest losses to predators, P. amethystina seeds had the greatest germination and C. flaviflora seeds had the greatest losses to pathogens. Comparison with data from Maquipucuna Reserve showed the following: (1)

Journal

New Zealand Journal of Forestry ScienceSpringer Journals

Published: Feb 5, 2018

References